Book: The Feminine Art by Weam Namoucategories: Book, Christian Iraqis, Iraqi Americans, Chaldeans, Arranged Marriage, Cultural Acclimation, Jordan, Michigan, Literary Fiction
Weam Namouabout this book: Originally, years and years ago, all I wanted to do was write books. My design changed one day in the mid-1990s when I realized the extent of stereotype that exists in the West regarding the Middle East in general and the women of that region in particular.
I was on transit at Heathrow Airport when I entered a bookstore and saw a rack of novels about Middle Eastern women written by western authors. Each front cover showed a veiled woman in distress and on the back, a synopsis told of her attempts to flee from an abusive husband, father or brother. I was disturbed that that was the only type of lifestyle displayed for the public, since I didn't personally know a woman, not in America or the Middle East, who lived under such circumstances - although I realized they did exist everywhere.
When I returned to America, I searched for books, articles and movies that depicted stories with either influential or simply everyday Middle Easterners, stories that portrayed the healthier or more realistic part of the Arab world. There were hardly any out there, especially not when it came to the women. From that point on I was determined to write nothing but true life stories and reports of the people and culture from that region. The Feminine Art was my first novel. It is based on true events. On the front cover is a picture of my sister, now deceased, during the 1960's in Iraq - a time now looked back at as "the good old days."
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